design thinking

Happy International Women's Day!

For International Women’s Day, I attended the Women in Industry event at General Assembly in NYC. Strong female leaders from Disney, Uber, Nike, and Dow Jones came out to represent and speak up about the importance of leading with inclusion.

Here’s a full house at General Assembly for International Women’s Day!

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It was also 2 of my classmates from Parsons’ Birthdays. So we took a Parsons Women in Design photo to celebrate the birthdays. Classmates from Colombia, Peru, India, Taiwan, and China all came out —and I was one of the few Americans.

I’m hoping to create a platform for voices of classmates at my Parsons Masters of Strategic Design program to talk about their life experiences, stories, design, and what drew them to Parsons in the new future. Look forward to my attempt to define inclusion and diversity at Parsons through new media coming soon!

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Thanks! Feedback and Iterative Design

November means it’s almost Thanksgiving! Around Thanksgiving, I like to reflect over the past year and think about what’s great, what could have been improved, and overall highlights. Think of it like a yearly progress report.

For me, feedback is a really important part of learning. How can I grow? How can I develop? What skills can I gain? What am I good at? These are a few questions I try to ask myself to learn more about how I can be better. In school, when students are measured on a metric of grades, perfection is the goal. But in seeking feedback, I’m looking more for what I’m good at, and how I can substantively improve…and iterate my life accordingly!

We’ll start with the good. This year, I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about my IGTV videos, ability to learn digital marketing and branding, and skills in synthesis and facilitation. Further, I’ve started tracking food and money —learning more about myself and creating actionable insights of how I plan my week. I’ll consider those my pro’s.

I also have learned that I want to learn more in the areas of presenting more, leadership, and communication. Something I picked up from a friend at a hackathon is perhaps a bi-weekly check-in about “How am I doing on a scale of 1-10?” and following up with “How can I be a 10?” to get more imminent, actionable feedback.

Will end on a few things I’m grateful for this holiday season:

  • Family (spouse, parents, brothers, cousins coming out to support me)

  • Self-Awareness (to reflect on and learn more about myself)

  • Good Coffee (for the last push of the semester for grad school!)

Adobe Max 2018 - My Speaking Experience

Adobe gave me and my partner, Sharon Rajkumar, the honor of speaking at a session at Adobe Max. Our session was highly interactive, with audience participation, a fun break, scenarios, and a timer as a prize. Over 100 people signed up for our session — and it was an exciting experience.

PROS:

Overall, we had a very well sync-ed presentation. We swapped off well and had interesting scenarios. The adrenaline gave us the extra burst of energy to do our best run. Initially, we provided the audience with post-its to provide us feedback with, and the audience was engaged, and provided us a lot of great positive reinforcement and support.

GROWS:

I always like to look for areas of improvement for my next round. It was a big presentation, so nervousness was a factor — definitely more practice and speaking in front of larger would be a benefit.

Also, we both synced on similar styles because our theme was women supporting women. Next time, I would make sure we differentiated our styles to play foils/contrast. We tried a foil dynamic in future meetings about our idea and it worked very well, so I would adapt this into future presentations. Part of styles is authenticity — being comfortable in your own skin. Next time, I plan to wear black or jeans. Projecting an image is great, and I hate to sound cliched, but being yourself is much better.

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Negotiation, Shared Economy, and Design's Role in New Economies

From my Parsons classes and readings, I have been thinking about design at a higher level: within teams, a firm, and at the economic (theoretical) level.

In Managing Creative Teams, we discussed Negotiation and Managing Difficult Conversations. Strategies were discussed in figuring out the other party’s interest and best alternatives in aligning interests.

The class discussion analyzed the role of designers in consultancies/agencies, companies, and startups. The class validated ideas that the UX-er in a large company often played the role of Product Manager and designers could only be “true designers” in a consultancy/agency model.

In Sustainable Business Models, I analyzed the linear model and our movement towards a more circular economy, where resources are shared. If you think about the Shared Economy, Rent the Runway is a business model that circulates clothing, saves resources, AND profits. A win on all ESG (Economic, Social, and Governance) pillars.

I looked at the supply chain of a LC4 Le Corbusier chair. Furniture is not that circular because it is constantly being thrown out when New Yorkers move.   But I do see LC4 and Eames chairs pop up at consignment stores, so perhaps certain types of collectibles are circular. Consider the vintage economy.

I looked at the supply chain of a LC4 Le Corbusier chair. Furniture is not that circular because it is constantly being thrown out when New Yorkers move.

But I do see LC4 and Eames chairs pop up at consignment stores, so perhaps certain types of collectibles are circular. Consider the vintage economy.

From the New Economies course, we studied the idea of Redefining Capitalism. I really liked this perspective because capitalism is often cast as evil/profiteering, but reframing capitalism in terms of ways to find solutions is a way designers can work for positive change (hey sustainability!).

We looked at technology and how it may have brought up more problems, despite finding solutions. How are problems weighed? What problems are considered more important? Something like climate change is a big problem but how to go about addressing these problems?

My take: (1) Capitalism drives (2) Industry, which innovates through (3) Techology where (4) ideas are created and (5) converge (come together) to (6) eventually find solutions.  If there are no solutions, as designers, we iterate, iterate, iterate.

My take: (1) Capitalism drives (2) Industry, which innovates through (3) Techology where (4) ideas are created and (5) converge (come together) to (6) eventually find solutions.

If there are no solutions, as designers, we iterate, iterate, iterate.